Neil Lennon says Celtic will want answers if Ryan Christie is absent from Saturday’s Old Firm match while fellow self isolator Kieran Tierney plays for Arsenal.
The Celtic midfielder and the Gunners defender missed Scotland’s recent three internationals after being in close contact with Stuart Armstrong, who tested positive for Covid-19.
Ahead of the visit of Rangers – live on Sky Sports – the Celtic boss claimed the club were told Tierney, also advised to self-isolate for 14 days, will be available to face Manchester City on Saturday.
Lennon also revealed Odsonne Edouard will be assessed after recovering from Covid-19, which was confirmed while on international duty with France U21s, and Switzerland striker Albian Ajeti has trained after shrugging off a hamstring injury.
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“Our medical department have spoken to the [Arsenal] club doctor and they have been given the all-clear for Kieran to go ahead,” Lennon said.
“Everything is devolved up here and what we have been told is that in this jurisdiction, Ryan can’t be available to play, which we find strange.
“Peter (Lawwell, chief executive) and the board have been pushing this since day one and we have had no clarification, if anything we have just been met with complete resistance so far.
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“Ryan was devastated. They felt they followed procedures properly and he is probably guilty by association but he has had two tests with us, both negative, and has been for the last week, 10 days.
“So we have a fit and able player not being allowed to play which we find, if this scenario pans out that Kieran can play, we find that very confusing and we would want answers.
“Our preparations have been without Ryan. It would probably be folly to change that now but we would like to have him available for the squad if possible and what we are asking is, if it is OK for one, why is it not okay for the other?
“And I think our supporters would like to know that as well.”
While Nir Bitton and Hatem Elhamed are missing after testing positive for Covid-19 while on international duty with Israel, Edouard has returned following his period of self-isolation.
Lennon said: “He [Edouard] will be assessed today – we are going through that procedure at the minute, so we will know more later on this afternoon.
“He has been a bit tired and isolated but we will through the tests and we will see how he is.”
Scottish Football Podcast: Old Firm special
Host Ian Crocker is joined by guests Kris Boyd and Andy Walker on the latest Scottish Football Podcast for a look back on an encouraging international break for Scotland, and a look ahead to the return of the Old Firm match as Celtic prepare to host Rangers.
For the first time in 2020, the two biggest clubs in Glasgow renew their age-old rivalry as champions Celtic host league-leaders Rangers in a mouth-watering clash on Saturday, live on Sky Sports.
Former Celtic striker Walker and ex-Rangers striker Boyd look ahead to what will be an Old Firm game with a difference, reflect on their stand-out appearances in the fixture, and offer their Scottish Premiership predictions ahead of the return of top-flight football in Scotland.
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